Everything is wrong with me
Monday, January 10, 2005
lessons learned about White Castle and women and digital cameras while listening to music
On Saturday night, I ventured way out into NJ to see a friend's band, the Mossy Pools. This was a major act of altruism for me, as I don't like to leave my apartment, let alone the isle of Manhattan, unless I can be guaranteed a fun time to end all fun times.

And I'm not talking Hoboken or Jersey City - I'm talking way out in Maplewood, a town I had never heard of. I had a lot of phone conversations earlier in the day, like:

My buddy Dave (a NJ native): "What are you doing tonight?"
Me: "I'm going to Jersey to see a band."
Dave: "Hoboken?"
Me: "No, Maplewood."
Dave: "What? You're not only going to Jersey, but you're actually going deep into Jersey?"
Me: "I'm running out of friends, so I have to keep those I have. Also, there's a girl I really want to sleep with that'll be there."
Dave: "Well that explains it."


Me: "So I'm going to Maplewood - New Jersey - to see a friend's band."
My friend Joe: "You're joking, right?"
Me: "Nope."
Joe: "Dude, I don't think I've ever heard you say you're going to Jersey to go out, unless you're going down the shore for a weekend. Is this a joke? Or is there some girl you want to get on that's gonna be there?"
Me: "The latter."
Joe: "Figures."

[I'll save everyone the suspense and tell you that it didn't work out between us. At the end of the night, she went one way (meaning "home"), and I went the other (meaning "White Castle" - see below.]

But in sooth, it was a good time indeed. The band plays Irish-American music, which is perfect for me, as I am Irish-American. They played at a nice Irish pub in Maplewood, which had cheap and good Guinness and whiskey that got me mighty fucked up. And they didn't go on until after the playoff games were over, so I got to see both games (3 for 4 on my picks - not too shabby).

[And no, I'm not just saying all this about it being a good time because I know that the people I hung out with and those in the band are reading this. Nor am I saying it because Dan, one of the guys in the band and a close personal friend, gave me $340 to mention his band's name, the Mossy Pools, and talk about how good they were. Which they were. The Mossy Pools, that is. Not that I was talking about another band, but to clear up, I'm talking about the Mossy Pools. So there.]

[Mossy Pools.]

[You should probably check out their website. The Mossy Pools. But then come back here and finish reading.]

Part of the reason I was looking forward to this night (aside for seeing the Mossy Pools play) was that being in NJ means cheaper alcohol prices. While beers in the city might be $6 a pint, they are around $4.50 in NJ. At this bar (aptly named St. James' Gate), we were drinking pints of Guinness for $4.25. Very nice.

Of course, seeing that the drinks were cheap gave me an epiphany: "My god - it's so cheap! I'm going to buy everyone drinks, so maybe some woman will say, 'Who's that fancy city slicker from NYC spendin' all that money - I'm gonna go blow him!'"

And spend I did. I was using mostly cash, but I also put up my card (never a good idea to go the whole "throw down the card AND use cash" route). At the end of the night, having spent well over $100 in cash, the bar tab was only $57. I vaguely remember thinking, "$13 is a good tip." However, when I checked the receipt the next day, I saw that I left the bartender a $28 tip. The lesson: I have no concept of money or whether or not I have an erection when I'm drunk. Whether or not this is the reason I am broke, I can not say for sure.

At any rate, two things of night from the evening:
1) At the end of the night, we went to White Castle to grab some food to bring home (I was staying at a buddy's house).

Good. Lord.

I have had White Castle very few times in my life; I remember gorging myself on those little slabs of grease they call burgers when I visited friends who were studying at Fordham and waking up after a night of boozing and eating and feeling a raccoon had gotten trapped in my stomach and was trying to punch its way out. Also, the raccoon was wearing brass knuckles.

This time 'round we got to WC at about 3am and ordered 40 burgers, and five orders each of onion rings and fries. Keep in mind this was for five people, and three of them were girls.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I had at least ten burgers, two boxes of onion rings, and one box of fries - whilst still drinking. We managed to finish 32 of the 40 burgers. I tried to keep going, but by that point my eyes were beginning to roll back into my head and my lips and extremities were turning blue. If you listened closely, you would have heard my heart sobbing to itself, saying, "That's it - I can't take it anymore, so I'm just gonna quit."

The next day I had not only a vicious hangover, but a stomachache with the worst runs I've ever had in my life. Today, this afternoon, when I burp I still taste those White Castle burgers and onion rings, and it makes me want to throw up all over my fucking keyboard. What a terrible decision.

And you know what? I'd do it all over again, exactly the same way. Because when I was pounding those little burgers at 4 in the morning, drunk of my ass, dropping pickles all over my shirt, I was in my glory. And I know if given the chance, I would do it again, although I might get some of those chicken rings next time.

2) I can't stress enough that women should NOT be allowed to operate digital cameras when they are drunk. This is the worst thing to happen to men who have to take/be in pictures with girls everywhere since, well, I don't know what, but it's bad. Good lord. I can't tell you how many times this scene was repeated in the course of the night:

Me: [taking picture] "Ok - 1-2-3 - smile!"
Group of girls: [running over to camera, snatching it out of my hand to see the picture] "Oh no, that's no good - take it again."
Me: "Again?"
Girls: "Just take it chubby, and we'll give you a mozzarella stick."

This happened easily twenty times. And never once was I given that promised mozzarella stick.

What's worse is if I'm actually in the picture that has to go through multiple retakes. I don't like having my picture taken, somewhat because I'm training to be a surly celebrity, but mostly because I'm not very attractive to begin with, and for pictures I have three looks:

- The "I'm Closing My Eyes" Look, wherein I close my eyes. This happens 70% of the time.
- The "Someone Just Stuck A Finger In My Ass" Look, with huge bulging eyes and a wide smile that says at once "I'm kinda uncomfortable, but I'm also kinda digging it."
- The "Leave Me The Fuck Alone Before I Punch You In the Throat" Look, which usually comes at the end of the evening when all I want to do is sit somewhere close to a bathroom (preferably in a Wendy's) and keep drinking.

And just the whole stand there and pose, see the picture, have it deemed not good enough, go back and pose, see the picture, have it deemed not good but not great ("My bottom lip looks weird" or "My hands look too big"), go back and pose, see the picture, have it deemed ok, etc. Very exhausting.

But all in all, it was a good night. And now I have to brace for my first five-day work week in a long, long time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I come down with the flu or typhoid so I can get a couple of days off. Wish me luck!

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